Support for the Green Line: An Older Community’s Perspective (MOCA)

The Green Line LRT will eventually connect Calgary’s northern city limits to the city limits in the south and bring 40 kms of new track to the existing LRT network. As a result, the line will pass through a diverse set of communities and will bring with it different benefits while presenting different challenges to each of those communities. Part of the focus of the LRT on the Green Foundation is help unite communities along the Green Line by identifying common challenges and working towards ensuring the LRT will conform to their community vision.

Looking to the end of the Green Line, the new communities planned for the Keystone Hills and Seton areas will eventually be home to over 90,000 people, representing a population that is roughly equal to the City of Red Deer. These new communities will be designed with the Green Line LRT already in mind and will maximize the opportunities for transit oriented development. The main hurdle standing in the way is the length of time it is estimated to take for the LRT to reach communities designed to maximize its use. For some existing communities, the arrival of the LRT will mainly bring benefits as the communities were designed with LRT in mind. Northern Hills, Riverbend and Douglasdale/Quarry Park fit into this category and these communities have already expressed their support for the project in previous posts.

Millican Ogden CAWith this post we’ll hear from one of the communities that was designed and built prior to the Green Line LRT being conceived. In order to accommodate the LRT, the residents in these communities will have to deal with the challenge of seeing their neighbourhoods altered and some residents displaced. It is our hope that collaboration between the City and residents to meet these challenges head on will mean the LRT will primarily benefit the communities by addressing mobility and traffic issues, while shaping redevelopment and intensification in a sensitive manner.

While our blog continues to tell the story of the Green Line from the perspective of Community Associations and other large stakeholders, we would encourage individuals to share their stories with us as well. Please use the comment form on our ‘Your Say’ page or tweet using #LRTOTG. Check back often as we continue to tell the story of the need for the Green Line and do our best to ensure that construction begins now and not decades from now.

 

LRT on the Green Foundation
Letter of Support

Thank you for contacting me as representative of the Millican Ogden Community Association with respect to your organization’s interest in the development of the future south East LRT project. At this point we know very little about the LRT on the Green Line Foundation but at first glance it appears to be an organization that is actively promoting the need for, and the construction of, the south east line of the LRT system.

We absolutely understand that the communities of Riverbend, Quarry Park, Douglas Glen, Douglasdale, McKenzie Town, and others to the south of us, are anxious to see upgraded transit service, and particularly more direct access to the LRT system. However many of these communities have been designed anticipating the eventual LRT so they will not see much in the way of a negative impact, they will only see the positives.

Millican Ogden on the other hand, is an older community, designed and built well before today’s needs could have been anticipated. Yet the route of today’s needed LRT must run right through the community disrupting many lives. There are many positives to an LRT line not the least which is the improved transit service to community residents, and of course there could be much new development created in the form of new commercial, office, and multi-family residential. But prior to that, there will be homes demolished and families displaced, and many of these families are low income and high needs, and from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Some are homeowners, but many are renters in subsidized housing.

As much as we do not want to stand in the way of progress, and as much as we recognize that the growth of the city toward the southeast has prompted the need for improved public transit, and as much as we recognize the potential long term benefits to our own community from these improvements, still there needs to be some consideration for those who find themselves in the path. At this point we have seen no evidence of the need to be sensitive to the residents who live on the eastern edge of the Millican Ogden community. Admittedly we have been given no information on the actual right-of-way that is being considered, but we anticipate that it will either cause families to be displaced, or cut them off from the remainder of the community. In addition, MOCA operates the Southeast Calgary Community Resource Centre which supports about 40 communities in the southeast quadrant with a variety of services including food hampers, clothing, after school programs, medical and dental services, and a variety of other support services for families with little means. This facility is located in a building provided by Calgary Housing Authority and we anticipate that it will be one of the buildings affected by the future right-of-way.

Again, we do not want to stand in the way of progress, and we see much benefit to the completion of the SETWAY and the future LRT, for all southeast residents. But your organization, the LRT on the Green Foundation, seems to be focusing its efforts on the promotion of the early construction of the LRT system, and we feel that an equal amount of effort must be given to those who will be affected along the way. The support of the Millican Ogden Community Association to the efforts of the Green line is contingent on the return efforts of the LRT on the Green Foundation to advocate for the residents of Millican Ogden who will be impacted by the development of the future LRT.

Regards,

Rick Smith
President | Chairman

Millican Ogden Community Association

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